Dubai diamond trade hits $39bn in 2011, up 12%

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Women walk past the Emirates Diamonds shop at Gold and Diamond Park, a shopping mall specialised in gold and diamond retailing, in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter and home to gold trading hub Dubai, is rapidly becoming a force in trade of another highly valuable commodity: diamonds. Photo – Jumana/Reuters

The total value of Dubai’s diamond trade, including rough and polished diamonds, soared 12% to $39 billion in 2011, Dubai’s precious commodities authority said in a report. ‎

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC), which did not provide separate import and export data for the year, said ‎approximately 225 million carats of diamonds were traded in the Dubai Diamond exchange ‎during the year.‎

According to the Kimberley Process, rough diamond exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) grew 66% to $5.87 billion in 2011, while rough imports jumped 80% to $3.7 billion. Rough exports rose 1% by ‎volume to 47.214 million carats while rough imports went up 20% ‎to 52.083 million carats.‎

Diamonds contributed to the overall strong commodities trading seen in Dubai in 2011.

The DMCC also reported a 35% increase in the value of gold traded through the exchange to hit a record of $56 billion, ‎reflecting both an increase in volume and prices. The trading volume for gold rose 6.3% ‎to 1,200 tons at an average price of $1,571.‎

In the first half of 2012, the Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange’s (DGCX) volumes rose 172% to 3,848,002 contracts, driven by significant surges in gold and Indian rupee futures ‎trading.‎

‎“Our strategy is to continue enhancing commodity trade flows through Dubai by enabling ‎businesses to access new markets as they shift from West to East and North to South,” ‎Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DMCC’s executive chairman, said.‎

DMCC, the licensing authority for the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Free Zone, registered a 60% growth in new companies during the first half of 2012, compared to the same period in ‎‎2011. In the first six months of the year, DMCC registered 975 new companies, bringing the ‎total number of businesses operating in the JLT Free Zone to over 4,600.‎

DMCC did not provide diamond trading data for the first six months of 2012.‎

Dubai, the UAE’s centre for gem trade, handled $35 billion worth of rough and polished diamonds in 2010, a leap from an annual figure of just $3 million a decade ago.

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